Topic: Uniform Dwelling Code
This is the fifth installment in a series of articles that are being written to highlight the permit application process in the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC. The articles are based on Chapters SPS 320 - 325 of the Uniform Dwelling Code and its incorporated standards. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that this information is current, complete and accurate, however no claim is made that this information is beyond question. For further information on the building permit process and inspections contact the municipality you will be building in. For further information on the state-contracted areas of WISPECT LLC visit our website, www.wispect.com.
When completing the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application there are two areas that the permit applicant will need to enter information that is directly connected to soil erosion. If the owner will be acting as the permit applicant, the permit application also has a compliance statement that must be read and checked off on as well. The statement is asking the permit applicant to vouch that they will be an owner-occupant of the dwelling applying for an erosion control or construction permit without a dwelling contractor certification and you have read the Cautionary Statement to Owners Obtaining UDC Building Permits. The permit application also asks for the square footage of the lot area and if an acre or more of land will be disturbed. With a few exceptions most of the residential construction in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC is rural. We recommend that for the size of the lot area you enter the area that will actually be disturbed if your building in the country. When constructing a new home in Bayfield, Glidden, or other urban area you need to enter the actual size of the lot. If an acre or more of land is being disturbed there are special rules regarding soil erosion control measures in this instance. According to s. SPS 321.126, storm water management practices shall be employed in accordance with s. NR 151.12 and maintained when the land disturbing construction activity involves one or more acres. Per s. SPS 320.09 (5) (d) 1. and 2., a storm water management plan shall be prepared for a site where one acre or more of land will be disturbed. The storm water management plan shall delineate and describe the post construction storm water management practices to be employed to comply with s. SPS 321.126.
An applicant for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit should check with the municipality they will be building in for their soil erosion control requirements. It should noted; the UDC in s. SPS 320.02 (e) 1. and 2., does not prevent a municipality from implementing erosion and sediment control requirements that are more stringent than the standards of this code when directed by an order of the United States Environmental Protection Agency or by an administrative rule of the department of natural resources under s. NR 151.004. They may also regulate erosion and sediment control for sites that are not under the scope of this chapter.
Soil erosion control measures are one of the least understood aspects of the Uniform Dwelling Code. It can also be one of the most troublesome aspects of building a new home in Wisconsin. Failure to install and maintain soil erosion control measures in the State of Wisconsin is a prosecutable offense.
The following is an excerpt from the Wisconsin Department of Justice website:
Oneida County Landowner to Pay $30,000 for Un-permitted Filling of Wetlands and Grading on the Bed/Banks of Lake Minocqua
Monday, August 06, 2012
MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice has settled its lawsuit against Jerome Untiedt, an Illinois resident who violated Wisconsin's waterway and wetland protection laws at his Oneida County property.
According to the complaint, filed at the request of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Mr. Untiedt filled wetlands and graded at least 10,000 square feet of ground on banks of Lake Minocqua in 2005, 2009 and 2010, each time without first obtaining proper permits and authorizations and each time without first taking steps to protect the lake and adjacent wetlands from erosion.
The complaint states that in 2004, Mr. Untiedt approached the DNR to see if he could cut trees and dredge a wetland to create a pond on his Lake Minocqua property. The DNR told him he could cut a 30-foot viewing corridor, but that he could not alter the wetland. In 2005, Mr.Untiedt cleared a significant number of trees and placed fill in approximately 30,600 square feet of wetlands on his property. He also graded more than 10,000 square feet on the banks of the lake without a permit. After the DNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated enforcement, Mr. Untiedt removed the fill from the wetland and re-graded the site.
In 2009, Mr. Untiedt again placed fill in wetlands and graded approximately 47,000 square feet of land on the banks of Lake Minocqua. He did not obtain the proper permits and permissions for this work, and did not attempt to control construction site erosion before he began disturbing the site. After the DNR discovered these violations, Mr. Untiedt again agreed to remove the fill, install erosion control measures and generally restore the site. The restoration work was completed in October 2009.
In 2010, the DNR learned that Mr. Untiedt had again filled wetlands and graded his property without first obtaining permits from the DNR. The DNR and Oneida County determined that portions of the filled wetland were below the ordinary high water mark of and connected to Lake Minocqua, thus also constituted lakebed. Mr. Untiedt installed an 8-to-10 foot by 300+ foot semi-circular concrete retaining wall in the slope up-gradient from the wetland, and placed soil and gravel that had been excavated for the retaining wall footings in the wetlands. The silt fences installed in 2009 had failed in places, and sand/gravel had slumped into the wetland. The newly graded area totaled approximately 29,815 square feet.
Wisconsin law prohibits persons from placing fill in wetlands without first obtaining certification or waiver from the DNR, and fill cannot be placed on lakebed without a state permit. State law also prohibits persons from grading more than 10,000 square feet on the bank of a navigable waterway without first getting a permit. Wisconsin law further requires that persons who must obtain grading permits must also develop and implement site specific erosion control plans designed to control erosion using measures that meet or exceed specific technical standards developed. Mr. Untiedt violated all of these laws in 2005, 2009 and 2010.
As part of the parties' settlement, Mr. Untiedt agreed to refrain from engaging in any kind of land disturbing construction activities (clearing and grubbing, demolition, excavating, filling and grading) on his Lake Minocqua property or on any other property he owns that abuts a lake, stream or river. If he desires to have any such work done in the future, he has agreed to retain a qualified third party contractor to engage in such work, and he will ensure that this consultant consults with the DNR and the appropriate county, and obtains any and all necessary state, federal or county permits before engaging in the work.
Mr. Untiedt promptly removed the 2010 wetland fill, he committed to seeding the upland portion of the graded area with a suitable plant mix, and he agreed to let the wetland re-colonize with wetland plants. He also agreed to have a qualified environmental consultant or landscape architect specializing in the area of wetland plants and restoration conduct inspections of the site to document the restoration, to monitor for the presence of invasive or non-wetland plant species in the wetland areas, and to promptly remove such plants during the next three years. Mr. Untiedt will pay the costs of restoration and monitoring in addition to the $30,000 in forfeitures, fees, costs and attorney's fees he has agreed to pay.
WHEN ARE SOIL EROSION CONTROL MEASURES NECESSARY?
Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code in s. SPS 321.125 (1) states;
GENERAL. (a) Where land disturbing construction activity is to occur erosion and sediment control practices shall be employed, as necessary, and maintained to prevent or reduce the
potential deposition of soil or sediment to all of the following:
1. The waters of the state.
2. Adjacent properties.
(b) Land disturbing construction activities, except those activities necessary to implement erosion or sediment control practices, may not begin until the sediment control practices are in place for each area to be disturbed in accordance with the approved plan.
(c) Erosion and sediment control practices shall be maintained until the disturbed areas are stabilized. A disturbed area shall be considered stabilized by vegetation when a perennial cover has been established with a density of at least 70%.
(d) Erosion and sediment control practices shall either be approved by the department or listed by the department of natural resources in accordance with the process under s. NR 151.32 (2).
In some instances a permit applicant believes soil erosion control measures are not necessary for their project. The permit applicant should then ensure they are also completing the Erosion Control Plan Checklist and the Management Strategies sections of the worksheet to show why they feel soil erosion control measures are not necessary. On-site inspections for soil erosion control are conducted throughout the building process. If an Inspector determines soil erosion control measures are needed on your site, your project will be issued a Stop Work Order until proper erosion control measures have been installed. There are only a few instances when an Inspector with WISPECT LLC will stop work on a project. One of them is the failure to install and maintain soil erosion control measures. Pursuant to s. SPS 320.10 (4) (b) 2. and 101.653 (7) (b), Stats., the department, a municipality or the designated UDC inspection agency may issue a special order directing an immediate cessation of construction work on other aspects of the dwelling until compliance with the erosion and sediment control provisions under s. SPS 321.125 is attained. Construction work may resume once the erosion and sediment control compliance corrections are completed. Per s. SPS 320.10 (4) (b) 1., the time period allowed for compliance with the erosion and sediment control provisions under s. SPS 321.125 shall be determined based on the severity of the noncompliance in relation to soil loss or potential damage to the waters of the state.
A permit applicant does have appeal rights in the event they disagree with a determination made by an Inspector with WISPECT LLC. According to s. SPS 320.11 (2), any person aggrieved by a determination made by the department, a municipality or a registered UDC inspection agency may appeal the decision in accordance with s. SPS 320.21. When filing an appeal for a determination made by a State-Contracted Inspection Agency for the cessation of construction work in accordance with SPS 320.21 (4) (b), the permit applicant should ensure they are meeting all the requirements of Ch. 68, WI Stats. Per s. SPS 320.21 (4) (b) which states: Appeals of a final determination by a municipality on cessation of work orders may be made to the department. The department shall issue a final determination on the appeal within 3 business days after receipt of such appeal. Appeals should be forwarded to the:
Wisconsin Division of Industry Services
RE: UDC Appeal
P.O. Box 2509
Madison, WI 53701-2509.
ARE THERE ANY MANDATED PRACTICES FOR SOIL EROSION CONTROL REQUIRED BY THE UDC?
The mandated practices required by the code can be found in s. SPS 321.125 (2) which states; Specific practices at each site where land disturbing construction activity is to occur shall be utilized to prevent or reduce all of the following:
(a) The deposition of soil from being tracked onto streets by vehicles.
(b) The discharge of sediment from disturbed areas into on− site storm water inlets.
(c) The discharge of sediment from disturbed areas into abutting waters of the state.
(d) The discharge of sediment from drainage ways that flow off the site.
(e) The discharge of sediment by dewatering activities.
(f) The discharge of sediment eroding from soil stockpiles existing for more than 7 days.
WHAT ARE THE SOIL EROSION CONTROL MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE UDC?
The maintenance requirements of the code can be found in s. SPS 321.125 (6) which states; MAINTENANCE. (a) 1. Except as provided in subd. 3., off− site sediment deposition resulting from the failure of an erosion or sediment control practice shall be cleaned up by the end of the next day.
Note: Contact the Department of Natural Resources before attempting to clean up any sediment deposited or discharged into the waters of the state.
2. Except as provided in subd. 3., off− site soil deposition, resulting from construction activity, that creates a nuisance shall be cleaned up by the end of the work day.
3. A municipality may enact more stringent requirements regarding cleanup of soil or sediment deposition onto public ways.
(b) 1. Except as required in subd. 2., the owner or owner’s agent shall complete repair or replacement of erosion and sediment control practices as necessary within 48 hours of an interval specified under sub. (5).
2. When the failure of erosion or sediment control practices results in an immediate threat of sediment entering public sewers or the waters of the state, procedures shall be implemented immediately to repair or replace the practices.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE UDC FOR SOIL EROSION CONTROL MEASURES FOR ONE- AND TWO-FAMILY DWELLING CONSTRUCTION SITES?
The erosion control standards required by code can be found in s. SPS 321.125 (3) which states; CONTROL STANDARDS. Including the practices under sub. (2), additional erosion and sediment control practices shall be employed, as necessary, to accomplish one of the following:
(a) A potential annual cumulative soil loss rate of not more than one of the following:
1. Five tons per acre per year where sand, loamy sand, sandy loam, loam, sandy clay loam, clay loam, sandy clay, silty clay or clay textures are exposed.
2. Seven and a half tons per acre per [year] where silt, silty clay loam or silt loam textures are exposed.
(b) A reduction of at least 80% of the potential sediment load in storm water runoff from the site on an average annual basis as compared with no sediment or erosion controls for the site when the land disturbing construction activity involves one or more
(c) A reduction of at least 40% of the potential sediment load in storm water runoff from the site on an average annual basis as compared with no sediment or erosion controls for the site where less than one acre of land disturbing construction activity is to occur.
WHAT ARE THE MONITORING REQUIREMENTS OF THE UDC FOR SOIL EROSION CONTROL MEASURES FOR ONE- AND TWO-FAMILY DWELLING CONSTRUCTION SITES?
The construction monitoring required by the code can be found in s. SPS 321.125 (5) which states; MONITORING. (a) The owner or owner’s agent shall check the erosion and sediment control practices for maintenance needs at all the following intervals until the site is stabilized:
1. At least weekly.
2. Within 24 hours after a rainfall event of 0.5 inches or greater. A rainfall event shall be considered to be the total amount of rainfall recorded in any continuous 24 hour period.
3. At all intervals cited on the erosion and sediment control plan.
(b) The owner or owner’s agent shall maintain a monitoring record when the land disturbing construction activity involves one or more acres.
(c) The monitoring record shall contain at least the following information:
1. The condition of the erosion and sediment control practices at the intervals specified under par. (a).
2. A description of the maintenance conducted to repair or replace erosion and sediment control practices.
Submitting a UDC Compliant Site & Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- and 2-Family Dwelling Sites
When submitting for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit or municipal or county zoning permit, the AHJ and the municipal or county zoning department require a site-plan. Complying with s. SPS 320 09 (5) (a) 1. requires a site plan to show the location of the dwelling, dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and any surface waters adjacent to the site. It should also show the areas of land-disturbing activities and the location of all erosion and sediment control measures to be employed to show compliance with s. SPS 321.125, the soil and sediment control requirements of the code. For this reason, a permit applicant may use the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- & 2-Family Dwelling Construction Sites to complete the site plan for the project. It should be noted, WISPECT LLC will accept separate site and erosion control plans if a permit applicant wishes to submit the documentation in this manner. However, it is reasonable that a permit applicant submits the site and erosion control plan in one document.
The requirements for site plans will vary from municipality to municipality. In the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC the site plan you will be required to submit to the Ashland and Bayfield County Zoning Departments will not be required by this Inspection Agency. In the same token, you do not have to show erosion control measures on the site plan you will submit to the Ashland or Bayfield County Zoning Departments. Keep in mind; WISPECT is required to ensure compliance with s. SPS 320.09 (5) (a) 1., 2., and 3. The site plan in accordance with the UDC is required to show all of the following:
- The location of the dwelling and any other buildings, wells, surface waters and dispersal systems on the site with respect to property lines and surface waters adjacent to the site;
- The areas of land disturbing construction activity and the location of all erosion and sediment control measures to be employed in order to comply with s. SPS 321.125;
- The preconstruction ground surface slope and direction of runoff flow within the proposed areas of land disturbance.
The Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application does ask for the following information:
- The legal description of the property;
- Zoning District;
- Zoning Permit Number; and
- The setbacks.
It should be noted; WISPECT will accept a site plan that includes all the information you will be submitting to the Zoning Department. It is reasonable to assume the Zoning Department(s) would accept a site plan with soil erosion control measures being highlighted. The Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application also asks for the name of the subdivision, the block and lot numbers, if applicable.
The benefits of using the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- and 2-Family Dwelling Sites - DNR WT-458-96 is it is a fairly simple document to complete. It contains a legend which highlights the various symbols which can be used indicate the type of erosion control measure(s) that will utilized and other information regarding the site.
A very good document that can assist builders with ensuring proper soil erosion control measures are being installed is the Erosion Control for Home Builders brochure. The following are some excellent educational sources for erosion and sediment control and storm-water management:
- Uniform Dwelling Code Appendix - SPS 320 - 325 - Page 146;
- Erosion and Sediment Control - North American Stormwater and Erosion Control Association - http://www.naseca.org;
- The Wisconsin River Alliance offers workshops to help river organizations understand the state's erosion control program: http://www.wisconsinrivers.org/index.php?page=content&mode=view&id=11DNR - http://dnr.wi.gov/org/water/wm/nps/stormwater.htm;
- Basin Educators – http://www.runoffinfo.uwex.edu/;
- Center for Water Shed Protection - http://www.cwp.org/;
- International Erosion Control Association - http://www.ieca.org/;
- Post-Construction Stormwater - North American Stormwater and Erosion Control Association - http://www.naseca.org/.
The EROSION CONTROL PLAN CHECKLIST section of the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- & 2-Family Dwelling Construction Sites is asking for characteristics of the site you will be building on. It is also asking for the erosion control practices that will be employed. The permit applicant can identify that these items have been completed or that they don’t apply. If the permit applicant believes soil erosion control measures are not necessary they need to check the not applicable boxes. As mentioned before, an Inspector can only determine if control measures are necessary when making the first site visit.
The Management Strategies section of the Standard Erosion Control Plan for 1- & 2-Family Dwelling Construction Sites is asking about temporary and permanent stabilization measures that have or will be taken. The date permanent stabilization of the site will take place. It is also seeking information on:
- Indicate re-vegetation method: ❏ Seed ❏ Sod ❏ Other ___________
- Expected date of permanent re-vegetation: ___________________
- Re-vegetation responsibility of: ❏ Builder ❏Owner/Buyer
- Is temporary seeding or mulching planned if site is not seeded by Sept. 15 or sodded by Nov. 15? ❏Yes ❏No
The remainder of this section is covering:
- Use of downspout and/or sump pump outlet extensions;
- Trapping sediment during de-watering operations;
- Proper disposal of building material waste so that pollutants and debris are not carried off-site by wind or water;
- Maintenance of erosion control practices.
It is the intent of these articles to ensure anyone applying for a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit in the state-contracted areas of WISPCECT LLC is complying with the Uniform Dwelling Code. Our goal is to eliminate the disapproval of permit applications, for any reason, and ensure construction projects for one- and two-family dwellings in our state-contracted areas are permitted in a timely manner.
Next Article: Complying with Wisconsin’s Energy Conservation Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings
Future Article: Summary of the Construction Plan Review Requirements in the State-Contracted areas of WISPECT LLC and the UDC Updates Effective January 1, 2011